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A climbing plant with tendrils cannot grow on it’s own without the support of a tree. -African Proverb

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Greatest Yorubaland African Sculptor

Greatest Yorubaland African Sculptor

African Art History
Eastern Yorubaland in Nigeria Africa born the most important African sculptor of the 20th century, Olowe of Ise. Born around 1875 Olowe of Ise made Yorubaland one of the most important centers of Yoruba wood art carving.
Yoruba African Sculptor Olówè of Isè
Yoruba African Sculptor Olówè of Isè

Yorubaland African sculptor Olowe of Ise saw in every rough block of wood a thing of beauty. Olowe of Ise Yoruba African sculptor famous artwork a wooden bowl carving is a fabulous example of his challenging sculptural work. Olowe of Ise worked in the small town of Ise in southwestern Nigeria Africa.

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Olowe of Ise early life and training in sculpture are unknown.

Who is Yorubaland Olowe of Ise

Yoruba African Sculptor Olówè of Isè
Yoruba African Sculptor Olówè of Isè

Olowe of Ise descendants claim he was self-taught, but it is likely that he learned the Yoruba canon and perfected his carving skills during an apprenticeship. 

Eventually he became a master artist at the King's palace, and as his fame grew, other Yoruba kings and wealthy families commissioned him to carve architectural sculptures, masks, drums and other objects for their palaces.

Among the Yoruba such elaborately carved and decorated bowls were prestige objects used to offer kola nuts to guests or to deities during religious worship. 

Olowe was an innovative and virtuosic, even daring, artist as demonstrated in this sculpture. The image of four dancing girls on the lid, for example, is the first such representation in Yoruba art. 

Olowe's choice of dancers raises questions about his inspiration. Olowe also depicted nude males, one of whom is kneeling, on this bowl. Such renderings are exceptional and challenge the Yoruba canon.

African Artist Olowe of Ise famous wooden bowl carving
African Artist Olowe of Ise
famous wooden bowl carving 

Did you know?
Olowe of Ise worked in the small town of Ise in southwestern Nigeria, Yorubaland. Olowe is considered as the most important Yoruba artist of the 20th century.

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Palindrome city names on the continent of Africa

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A palindrome is a name that can be spelled either from left to right or right to left identically. In other words, palindromes are words, which read the same backwards. Mom and Dad are two simple palindromes. In Africa Nigeria has the most places on the African continent with seven cities whose names are palindromes. Madagascar holds the record for the longest city with a palindromic name, Anahanahana, Madagascar.

Anahanahana Madagascar
Anahanahana Madagascar

There are 20 palindrome city names on the continent of Africa located in 13 African countries of Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

City of Iai

Burkina Faso
City of Ibi

City of Madaradam

City of Anahanahana

City of Lellel

City of Akka

City of Tassessat

Cities of:

City of Matam

Sierra Leone
City of Dibid

Cities of:
Daba Qabad

City of Illibilli

City of Madoko Dam

Senegal Fishing
Senegal Fishing

Did you know
IDI is the first name of a notorious Ugandan dictator whose first name is a palindrome.

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

African Folktale Innocent Monkey and Lying Shark

African Folktale Innocent Monkey and Lying Shark

African Folklore short story of Innocent Monkey and Lying Shark was told to an ancestor whose ancestors told them to them, who had received the African folktale from their ancestors, and so back into African folklore storytelling history.

African folklore with animals offers valuable moral lessons. 

African Folktale Innocent Monkey and Lying Shark

African Folktale Innocent Monkey and Lying Shark

Once upon a time Bahati, the monkey, and, Aza the shark, became great friends.

The monkey lived in an immense mkooyoo tree which grew by the sea shore with half of its branches being over the water and half over the land.

Every morning, when the monkey was eating her breakfast of kooyoo nuts, the shark would put in an appearance under the tree and call out, “Throw me some food, my friend;” which the monkey fulfilled most willingly.

This continued for many months, until one day Aza said, “Bahati, you have done me many kindnesses: I would like you to go with me to my home, that I may repay you.”

“How can I go?” said the monkey; “we land beasts cannot go about in the water.”

“Don’t trouble yourself about that,” replied the shark; “I will carry you. Not a drop of water shall get to you.”

“Oh, all right, then,” said Bahati; “let’s go.”

When they had gone about halfway the shark stopped, and said: “You are my friend. I will tell you the truth.”

“What is there to tell?” asked the monkey, with surprise.

“Well, you see, the fact is that our king is very sick, and we have been told that the only medicine that will do him any good is a monkey’s heart.”

African Folktale Animal Folklore

“Well,” exclaimed Bahati, “you were very foolish not to tell me that before we started!”

“How so?” asked Aza.

But the monkey was busy thinking up some means of saving herself, and made no reply.

“Well?” said the shark, anxiously; “why don’t you speak?”

“Oh, I’ve nothing to say now. It’s too late. But if you had told me this before we started, I might have brought my heart with me.”

“What? Haven’t you your heart here?”

“Huh!” shouted Bahati; “don’t you know about us? When we go out we leave our hearts in the trees, and go about with only our bodies. But I see you don’t believe me. You think I’m scared. Come on; let’s go to your home, where you can kill me and search for my heart in vain.”

The shark did believe her, though, and exclaimed, “Oh, no; let’s go back and get your heart.”

“Indeed, no,” protested Bahati; “let us go on to your home.”

But the shark insisted that they should go back, get the heart, and start afresh.

At last, with great apparent reluctance, the monkey consented, grumbling sulkily at the unnecessary trouble she was being put to.

When they got back to the tree, she climbed up in a great hurry, calling out, “Wait there, Aza, my friend, while I get my heart, and we’ll start off properly next time.”

When she had got well up among the branches, she sat down and kept very still.

After waiting what he considered a reasonable length of time, the shark called, “Come along, Bahati!” But Bahati just kept still and said nothing.

In a little while he called again: “Oh, Bahati! Let’s be going.”

At this the monkey poked her head out from among the upper branches and asked, in great surprise, “Going? Where?”

“To my home, of course.”

“Are you mad?” yelled Bahati.

“Mad? Why, what do you mean?” cried Aza.
“What’s the matter with you?” said the monkey. “Do you take me for a fool?” Get out of there, and go home by yourself. You are not going to get me again, and our friendship is ended. Good-bye, Aza.”

Aza turned away and started swimming home with a heavy heart ashamed of deceiving a good friend who was trusting, generous and kind.

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